San Miguel Power Association Rate Tariffs
Join the Discussion of the SMPA Proposed Access Charge Increase
San Miguel Power Association (SMPA) is seeking comments from the consumer-members on a proposed increase to the membership access charge.
For most residential consumers, the increase will amount to $2 per month, raising the access charge to $25.00 per month. This increase would result in a total annual increase of $24 per membership.
A proposal review, followed by a member comment period, has been scheduled as part of the regular board meeting on Tuesday, October 24th at 9 AM. The meeting will be held virtually and in the SMPA Board Room at 170 W. 10th Ave. in Nucla. Members are invited to attend in-person or as a Zoom participant to provide comment at the beginning of the meeting before the Board considers the proposal. Zoom participants register on our Board Meeting Agendas web page. Consumers are encouraged to attend this meeting, share opinions and help Board members make the most informed decision possible.
San Miguel Power Association's rates are designed to meet expected revenue requirements and to equitably distribute the cost of service to members while maintaining the financial stability of the cooperative.
Complete Current Rate Tariff Sheets
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In January, 2023, San Miguel Power Association, Inc. (SMPA) increased its access fee with no change to the kWh energy rate for all electric accounts, including all rate classes and lighting tariffs. For most residential consumers, the increase amounted to $2 per month on the access charge or $24 per year above the current charge.
The energy rate is an amount charged per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity. The billed amount varies with the amount of electricity used each month. The current rate is $0.134725 per kWh. There will be no change to this rate next year.
The access charge, however, is a fixed monthly fee that each member must pay regardless of how much energy they use. This fee covers costs that SMPA incurs even if it sells zero kilowatt hours. It is used to recover expenses such as:
- Trucks, wires, transformers, power poles and labor needed to build and maintain the electric distribution system
- System investments that improve both capacity and reliability
- Insurance, interest, depreciation and taxes
Proposed increases to this component of the bill are defined by a member’s rate class. Please see the above chart to locate yours.
Yes, SMPA is anticipating a wholesale rate increase in the fourth quarter of 2023. Inflationary pressures remain a challenge as do other potential changes in our power supply costs, such as possible increases to the power transmission charges billed to SMPA by our wholesale power provider, Tri-State. Fire mitigation, vegetation management, and large capital projects are also items that add to SMPA’s annual expenses.
Through strategic financial planning and the use of deferred revenue, SMPA has been able to buffer against recent inflationary pressures. SMPA is realizing less interest expense than we had anticipated due to the need to defer some large capital projects. Finally, over the past few years, SMPA has experienced a modest load growth, due to population growth in our service territory. This increase in electricity sales has helped strengthen SMPA’s economic bottom line.
While the SMPA board of Directors has discretion on the timing of a Member Dividend retirement, SMPA generally cannot circumvent the obligation to return Member Dividends to the membership. Returning Member Dividends is fundamental to our business structure, as a member-owned cooperative.
While increasing the energy rate might incentivize some people to conserve energy, such a move forces the cooperative to rely on volumetric energy sales in order to cover fixed expenses. Currently, the SMPA Board of Directors seeks to further the cooperatives efforts to promote more energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. Matching fixed charges with fixed costs such as materials, labor, tools, and maintenance, keeps SMPA’s financial interests in line with this strategic objective.
The access charge is fixed, but there are still many actions member-consumers can take to reduce their monthly energy expense. These can range from simple home projects like caulking windows and replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs, to more involved projects, like insulation or replacement of appliances. SMPA offers numerous rebates to help with these types of upgrades.
Many members in SMPAs territory are reducing their total monthly budget with the replacement of a gasoline-driven vehicle with an electric vehicle (EV) or other electric device that may increase the electric bill slightly, but which eliminates other monthly expenses in order to realize a net savings. Please call (970) 864-7311 if you are interested in exploring options.